Dressed to the Nines at the Edge of the Pines

dress-to-the-nines-detailHere’s another photographic composition where the photographer inserted himself as a subject. John B. Capewell is in on the left acting as if he is unaware of the camera as he activates it’s shutter with a length of string. Meanwhile, his wife Ella and one of his brothers stare directly at the camera’s lens.

The Capewells look fairly young in this shot, and the children are nowhere to be seen so I’m wondering if they are newly wed placing this picture some where around 1905-06.

dress-to-the-ninesIt looks like the Pine Barrens in the winter. There’s snow on the ground; the trees are bare and the trio are bundled up rather nicely. I’m not sure why they are almost formally dressed. Mrs Capewell has a fox draped about her neck. They look like they are ready for a night at the opera rather than a having a seat on a log at the edge of the woods.

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About The Capewell Glass Negative Collection

The Capewell Glass Negative Collection is a series of about 200 5-inch by 7-inch glass negatives shot early in the 20th Century by John Batt Capewell (1878-1951) of Westville, New Jersey. John passed the negatives down to his son Henry who left them in his wife’s possession upon his passing. Henry’s widow didn’t know what to do with them and didn’t particularly want them so she offered them to my Dad who couldn’t turn down anything. Ultimately I wound up with them and thought I would one day have photographic prints struck from them. That didn’t happen, but I came up with the digital workaround of placing the negatives on a lightbox and rephotographing them with a digital camera. The “processing” was then done on a computer with image editing software. They came out better than I thought they would so I thought I would show them off to the world on this site. Many of these pictures have not been seen in a century, and I’m proud to be presenting them today.

At first, I did not know who the people were in the photographs. I have a box of ephemera that accompanied the negatives and snagged a few clues from that as far as the Capewell name. I did some research on the internet and had a few false starts and wrong turns, but the readers of these posts have provided a remarkable amount of research and detail. I’m amazed at what people have turned up sifting through public records and such!

Last: The Lady in the Harbor

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5 Responses to Dressed to the Nines at the Edge of the Pines

  1. Don DeLorme says:

    Just fantastic Joe, nice work and great photos!

  2. Joe_Williams says:

    Thanks, Don! Stay tuned – there’s more to come!

  3. Dan Love says:

    I like the patches of snow.

  4. Joe_Williams says:

    Me too. Well-dressed in the winter in what looks like the middle of nowhere. It’s a strange photo. Maybe Capewell was showing some artistic inclinations.

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